At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Friday, March 10, 2006

Accounting for Victory

-- A Stab at the '06 Red Sox Win Total --

On the Sports Exchange at WATD radio last week, I was asked how many victories I thought Curt Schilling will earn for Red Sox this year. This weekend’s news that David Wells apparently now wants to remain with the team only puts a fine edge on this question, for his staying means the Sox truly do have an overabundance of quality starting pitchers in camp.

Just for grins, let’s do some accounting and see how many victories this cache of arms just may give the club before the season ends. A few assumptions before we begin:

- Schilling’s health holds up and he is close to being as good as he says will be
- Beckett performs as well as he did last year
- Wells spends some time on the DL, but when on the mound, he’s his usual steady self
- Wakefield does what Wakefield does
- Arroyo, Clement, and Papelbon each spend time in the bullpen, and one of them (likely Clement) is traded

OK? Here goes:

Pitcher / No. of Wins
Schilling - 17
Beckett - 17
Wells - 13
Wakefield - 14
Arroyo/Clement/Papelbon – 29
Bullpen - 8

That’s 98 wins, and presuming the Sox do anything more than split against their division, that ought to be enough for a playoff berth. However, the margin of error is considerably smaller than it has been, as the Blue Jays have made significant improvements (in theory, anyway) and are poised to displace the Sox as runners-up to the Yankees. As is always the case, it will be pitching and defense that will tell the tale, and it will be nice to root for a Home Towne Team that for once has both.

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